Mumbai Photographers Leopard Click Makes it to International Press Contest And Wins a Second Place
The photograph, titled ‘Big cat in my backyard’, was taken on September 24, 2016. It shows a leopard walking past mud houses of tribals residing inside Aarey colony. On its night prowl to catch a dog, which is its most easy prey, the big cat can be seen walking past footwear and a steel glass lying on the ground.
Wildlife photographer Nayan Khanolkar’s image of a leopard walking in a dimly lit alley of Aarey milk colony, Mumbai, won second place in the Nature category at the prestigious World Press Photo (WPP) contest 2017. The photograph was the only Indian entry that made it to the list.
“I am happy that the West is acknowledging how humans coexist with leopards in Mumbai,” said Khanolkar. He hopes that the image will create more awareness among people about leopards and the threats they face.
The Dombivli resident hopes that the image can make people understand and learn how the tribals have adapted to life with leopards around. “I wish the same acceptance is shown by urban people, who build their houses close to the forest for good views and clean air, but lodge complaints even if a leopard is spotted in the fringe areas, asking for it to be trapped,” he said. By taking simple precautions people could learn to live with leopards, he said.
Interestingly, Khanolkar also won the Wildlife Photographer Award 2016 for a similar image taken at the same location on January 2016.